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"Skin Game" is the eleventh episode of the third season of Archer.



Archer is faced with a dilemma when his murdered fiancé, Katya, miraculously reappears thanks to Dr. Krieger.




Cultural References[]

  • Midnight Cowboy (1969): Archer notes that he does not like this type of "surprise fellatio". Early in the film, the main character tries to make money by receiving oral sex from a man in a movie theater. After the sex act, he learns that the man can't pay him.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): The "wetsuit" in Krieger's apartment may be a reference to the novel/movie "Silence of the Lambs", in which the serial killer Buffalo Bill creates a suit made out of human skin from his female victims in order to look like a woman himself. This is supported by Archer's comments about it being made of skin, as well as the fact that the suit is clearly designed for a woman.  Silence of the Lambs is a frequent reference, along with The Terminator.  
  • Se7en (1995):  While looking for the bathroom in Krieger's apartment, Sterling walks by a room where dozens of pine air fresheners hang from the ceiling. This is probably a reference to the movie "Se7en", during which the serial killer John Doe ties a man to a bed for one year, representing the Deadly Sin of sloth. The man rots and the air fresheners cover the smell. This would go along with other references to Krieger being a serial killer.
  • Ghostbusters (1984): When Krieger first reveals Katya to Archer, a replica of the containment unit used by the Ghostbusters can be seen on the wall to the right of the lab table.
  • The Fifth Element (1997): Katya's costume in Krieger's lab is reminiscent of Milla Jovovich's 'thermal bandage' costume as Leeloo (Leeloominaï Lekatariba Lamina-Tchaï Ekbat De Sebat) in the movie "The Fifth Element". The thread here seems to be that Leeloo is a 'perfect being' who was assembled. Katya was perfect in Archer's eyes before being made into a cyborg - and in Krieger's eyes after. The theme here is transformation.
  • 'YYZ' by Rush (1981): The quip about Krieger finally learning to "crack" YYZ is one of several ongoing jokes in the series that Krieger is a huge fan of the band, Rush.
  • Robocop (1987): Pam asks Katya for her thoughts on this 80s film, featuring a police officer turned cyborg without his consent.
  • Electrolux: The sentence when Malory says "It's that Electrolux again" refers to a brandblunder that the company Electrolux tried to sell their vacuum cleaners with: "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux". This alludes to Archer's recurring robophobia (fear of robots) - or Frankenstein Complex - which stems from his hoover-aided-masturbation-induced trauma as a child.
  • Horace Greeley / "Don't bury the lead": Founder editor of 'The New York Tribune' in 1841 / the number one rule in journalism (always inform public of the crux of the message).
  • The Rat Pack (1950s-60s): Peter Lawford was a member of the 'Rat Pack' and died from the effects of substance abuse.
  • Sigmund Freud / Oedipus Complex: Lana refers to Archer's mother issues directly, referencing the founding father of psychoanalysis and one of his main theses.
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994): After Barry assaults Brett in the elevator, he writes, "Barry was here. So was Other Barry," in blood, in a reference to this movie.
  • Newton's Apple (1983-98 ): When Krieger explains how the photovoltaic cells used in the cyborg work, Archer compares him to Ira Flatow, who was the first host of this American educational television program produced and developed by KTCA of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, and distributed to PBS stations in the United States. Its focus was primarily scientific.
  • The Graduate (1967): The end of the episode, when Barry and Katya ride off on the bus, is a reference to the end of the film, when Elaine and Benjamin ride off in the bus. The music is also a reference (Simon & Garfunkel, probably).
  • Crisis and Opportunity: Cheryl's line; " Chinese, the words for crisis and opportunity are the same word"[1] is in reference to a (incorrect) quirk in the Chinese language where the word crisis (危機), is said to comprise of 2 Chinese characters; danger (危), and opportunity (機). This became more wide spread in America after a 1959 speech by JFK while giving a convocation at a Negro college in Indianapolis, in which he said "When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters – one represents danger and one represents opportunity"[2].

Running Gags / Callbacks[]

  • Holy shit-zombies! - by Pam, variation of "holy shit snacks!"
  • Just like the gypsy woman said - Cheryl makes several references to the gypsy in relation to Katya being made into a cyborg.
  • Spoiler alert - That Katya is super strong.
  • Sploosh! - Cheryl says in relation to Katya's strong grip (callback to Cheryl's choke fetish).
  • Robophobia - Archer's fear of robots is alluded to / deja vu to sex with a hoover (would explain a lot).
  • Ping pong paddle - On the bed as Archer processes having sex with Katya.
  • Duh!
  • Bawk Bawk!
  • Gross and/or ick
  • Holding one finger up (One moment) - Archer chugs Cyril's Glengoolie Blue.
  • Slaps - Cheryl enjoys a slap from Pam. Archer slaps Cyril multiple times.
  • Phrasing, boom! - Pam inappropriately uses this during the ceremony.
    •  Brett uses it after Archer says he is coming for Barry.
  • Electrolux - callback at the end of the episode (3 mentions of Archer's robophobia).
    • When Lana says "that sucked" - unbeknownst to her, she spoke to the subtext with a vacuum cleaner pun.
  • Vibrating Insides - Barry reminds Archer of Katya's...
  • Marco - Polo: Call and Response - Cheryl is heard shouting 'Polo' to Archer's shouts of 'Barry' (another example of her craziness).
  • Brett is a bullet magnet: Yeah.
  • Night vision blindness: Archer when the lights come back on.


  • Katya makes her first appearance since apparently 'dying' at end of season 2 in "Double Trouble". It is revealed that Krieger drags her off of his crushed van before taking her to his home lab for conversion into a cyborg.


  • The Russian word "mudak" literally translates as "asshole".
  • Archer's recurring robophobia (fear of robots) or Frankenstein Complex - is a running gag which stems from his hoover-assisted onanistic misadventures as a child, which understandably traumatised him for life.
  • Katya's skin is not original - Krieger attempts to mask "hobo" under a cough.
  • When Katya says "spasibo for nothing" she is saying 'thanks' in Russian [Спасибо/spasibo].
  • Katya refers to her heart as her "C Drive", which means she runs on a Windows Operating system.
  • Krieger regards Katya as his "greatest accomplishment to date", and gets repeated erections.(x3) because he is so "happy" ie. aroused at his scientific prowess and/or Katya's physical appearance.
  • When Archer says "beset on all sides by idiots" this may be a subtle reference to Pulp Fiction, where Jules delivers his famous speech in which he is "beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish, and the tyranny of evil men."
  • Cheryl recalls her time in a mental institute, stating the staff would tell the residents that "crisis" and "opportunity" are the same in Chinese. However, this isn't true, as "crisis" translates to 危機 (wéijī) and "opportunity" translates to 機會 (jīhuì).
  • The game 'Marco Polo' is alluded to along with Cheryl's increasing mental decline.


  • After her "fight" with Barry, Katya's clothes are seen to be torn - notably the sleeve of her right arm (19m10s). Then for a period when Barry appears, her right sleeve is restored, (19m26s-49s) only to return to their shredded state (19.59s onwards).



Archer: "Ugh! What is that? I've never smelled that smell in America."
Krieger: "I live in a... transitional neighborhood."
Archer: "As the crack dealers moved to nicer ones?"


Archer: "I hate surprises. I mean, except surprise fellatio ... That, I like. The non-'Midnight Cowboy' kind."


Krieger: "Don't be nervous, I'm not going to rape you."
Archer: [Upon seeing Krieger's "wetsuit"]"JESUS CHRIST! But you were gonna fillet me like a perch?!"
Krieger: "What? No, that's a wetsuit!"
Archer: "Of human flesh?"
Krieger: "Neoprene. I'm a certified diver."
Archer: "Why is it skin-colored?"
Krieger: "Well, it's not if you're black."
Archer: "What is it with serial killers and skin?"
Krieger: "I'm not a... serial killer."
Archer: "Wait, why'd you emphasize 'serial'?
Krieger: "I did whaaaat? Are we doing--? Did I mention I have a surprise for you?"


Archer: "Is.. Is she alive!?"
Krieger: "Yeah man, flick her titty"


Woodhouse: "I took the liberty of poaching you an egg."
Katya: "Is not much of a liberty considering that you are going to polish my vagina."
Woodhouse: "No. No, it isn't."


Lana: "I think if you're looking for insight into why Archer is... Archer, you need to jump in a time machine and have a threesome with Oedipus and Sigmund Freud."
Katya: "Hey, spasibo for nothing."
Lana: "Well, I don't really have a roadmap for my ex finding your robo-gina in the sink."




Cyril: "You were gonna marry her before."
Archer: "Before she wasn't a cyborg."
Cyril: "She's still kind, and smart, and insanely hot."
Archer: "Hmm, yeah. And even though it's detachable, that vagina is, like, mind-shattering."
Cyril: "Oh, yeah? What, does it vibrate, or--" [Archer slaps Cyril] "Ow! Ow! Damn it! You--you started it!"
Archer: "That's my fiancée you're talking about!"
Cyril: "Really?"
Archer: "I can look past our differences, Cyril, I'm a much bigger man than you think. Plus, it'll drive mother crazy. Plus, yes, it vibrates."


Archer: [After hearing Malory break things in her office] "And it's a win-win. Plus, it vibrates."


Archer: "Ray, don't you have, like, a priest outfit or...?"
Ray: "No, I wore it to Fetish Night at The Snug, and it's covered in--"
Archer: "Okay! Ugh!"
Ray: "--Red wine, ass!"


Barry: "Is anybody gonna ask how and why I knew to show up here?"
Archer: "Is...? Okay, I'll bite."
Barry: "By tracking the satellite signal from Katya's internal hard drive which Doctor Dipshit over there bought from the KGB."
Archer: "What--? KRIEGER!"
Krieger: "Yeah, but... the savings."
Barry: "Like, eighty bucks you saved."


Archer :(Calls out in the dark) "Barry!"
Cheryl: "Polo!"
Archer: "Shut up!"



Gallery of Images[]

There are 16 screenshots and images from "Skin Game" on this Wiki, visit the category page for a complete gallery.